We review Samsung’s Game Launcher feature found on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which allows you to play mobile games without being disturbed, record your gaming sessions and much more.
What is Game Launcher?
As big mobile gamers, we were intrigued to hear about Samsung’s Game Launcher feature, which just debuted on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Game Launcher is basically a set of useful tools designed to improve the gaming experience, while also adding the ability to capture screenshots and commentary-led videos of your gaming sessions.
Here’s some of the best features of Game Launcher, and how to set it up on your Galaxy phone.
How to set up Game Launcher on your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge phone
Setup is blissfully simple. Just find the Game Launcher app in your apps tray and give it a tap and agree to Samsung’s terms. You can then use all of the Game Launcher features.
Once activated, a Game Launcher shortcut will be added to your desktop. This provides a handy gateway to all of your installed games, as well as the main Game Launcher features.
From the Game Launcher menu, you can not only select a game to load but also choose from three different power options. By default games will run with their standard resolution at 60FPS, but you can also choose the ‘Save Power’ mode which reduces the resolution as well as knocking down the framerate to 30FPS. Or, if your battery is close to drained, you can choose the ‘Save Maximum Power’ option, which bumps the resolution down even lower.
There’s only a slightly noticeable difference in graphics quality when using the power saving modes and games play a little less smoothly thanks to that frame rate drop, but the likes of Hitman Sniper were still perfectly playable. A quick gaming session with power saving disabled drained 4 percent of the S7’s battery, while the same session with maximum power saving enabled drained just 3%, so it certainly seems to make a small difference.
With Game Launcher enabled, you’ll notice the Game Tools thumbnail automatically popping up in the bottom left corner of the S7’s screen when you load a game. This can be dragged around to any new position if needed, while a quick tap gives you access to the Game Launcher features.
One of the coolest features of Game Launcher is the Do Not Disturb tool, which means you no longer need to turn on airplane mode every time you want to play a game. This prevents notifications from pushing their way onto the screen and distracting you at the worst possible moments. The only exception is incoming calls, flagged by a small bubble at the very top of the screen which then quickly vanishes.
Game Launcher also gives you the option of locking the recent and back keys beneath the screen. It’s another useful tool as it’s easy to accidentally hit those buttons in a moment of gaming passion, accidentally quitting out of or ruining your session. And if you do need to jump back into your phone’s other features, you can pull up the Game Tools menu and choose to minimise the game, which reduces it to a draggable thumbnail on your desktop. Just tap that thumbnail at any time to return to the game.
Record your game with Game Launcher
One of the biggest features of Game Launcher is the ability to record your gaming sessions with just a tap.
Bring up the Game Tools menu when you’re in the game and you’ll see the ‘Record’ option. Give this a tap and your video will automatically start recording. It’ll keep recording until you tap your avatar or you quit the game, at which point the video is automatically saved to your gallery.
By jumping into the Game Launcher settings, you can change your still avatar to a video of your face as you play, shot with the front-facing camera. You can also choose whether to record the game’s audio and your voice (both recorded with the phone’s mic) or just record audio directly from the game. And finally, you can change the resolution of your video (between 360p and 1080p) as well as the bitrate.
Be warned that if you try recording your voice and the game audio with the mic, you’ll have to keep the phone volume turned right down and speak loudly, or your voice will be drowned out. You’ll also need to avoid smothering the bottom edge of the phone (with the speakers and mic built in), or you’ll end up with a horrible, distorted audio track.